This brief describes how federal investment in targeted technical assistance (TA) helps communities develop new, more systemic and collaborative approaches to overcoming barriers to success. Two accompanying case studies provide examples of this work in rural Southeastern Kentucky and suburban Broward County, Florida.

Fiscal mapping, a research approach to systematically identify and analyze expenditures, creates a diagram of current resources, funding gaps, and funding coordination opportunities in a local community.  With a fiscal map in hand, a clearly articulated vision of the desired supports and programs, and an understanding of the flexibilities and limitations of the funding types, community leaders can collaborate to braid, blend, pool, or decategorize funds to manifest their vision.  Two case studies illustrate how fiscal mapping translated into collaborative action to better serve justice-involved youth in Broward County, Florida, and residents of rural Appalachian Kentucky to improve educational outcomes.

Major Findings & Recommendations

Local and regional leaders must deconstruct education, health, and workforce funding and service silos to create and sustain their shared visions for the community. Lessons learned from the case studies presented follow.

Conduct regular fiscal and asset mapping to understand the full range of investments available in the community or region.  Gather funding and service metrics that are both descriptive and analytic.  Employ surveys and interviews to gather and clarify data and define consistent fiscal mapping parameters so that collected data is comparable across service providers/grant recipients.

Create a workgroup comprised of representatives in your area of interest (and geographic area) to guide the fiscal mapping process.  Engage local leaders to obtain fiscal mapping buy-in from community organizations and sustain partnerships so that future funding requests can be informed by the workgroup and key leaders.